New WR market evaluations give Terry McLaurin overdue respect
By Jerry Trotta
Fans of the Washington Commanders have been waiting patiently for the organization to extend star wide receiver Terry McLaurin.
When you consider Ron Rivera’s latest comments and the team’s recent history as it pertains extending star players (Jonathan Allen didn’t each an agreement until right before training camp last year), it’s not happening anytime soon.
While it’s encouraging neither side is in a rush to get a deal done, the longer the Commanders wait, the higher McLaurin’s price tag rises. The receiver market is skyrocketing and getting reset seemingly with each passing week.
In other words, there’s no telling what McLaurin will demand in negotiations by the time both parties are ready to move the needle.
After Stefon Diggs and the Bills reached an agreement on a four-year, $96 million extension, which includes $75 million guaranteed, Spotrac updated the WR market valuations for the next group of players in line for extensions.
You’ll never guess where McLaurin ranked.
Is Commanders receiver Terry McLaurin finally getting his respect?
Like most Commanders fans, we think the world of McLaurin, but not even we could’ve guessed that Spotrac’s receiver evaluations would have him slated higher than DK Metcalf, AJ Brown and Deebo Samuel, respectively.
You won’t find us complaining, though, as McLaurin is finally getting the respect he deserves around the league.
On top of catching passes from 10 (TEN) different quarterbacks over his first four seasons, just 62.7 percent of his targets were catchable last year, which was the lowest rate of all wide receivers who logged more than 100 targets.
In spite of inconsistent (at best) QB play, McLaurin has posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and has 164 receptions to show for it. He led the league in contested catches and there’s no reason to think he couldn’t push for 1,300 receiving yards, 100-plus catches and double-digit touchdowns with improved QB play.
According to Spotrac, McLaurin’s four-year, $97.7 million evaluation, which equates to $24.42 million annually, would rank him fifth in the NFL behind Tyreek Hill ($30 million), Davante Adams ($28 million), DeAndre Hopkins ($27.25 million) and Diggs, who just signed for $26 million per year with Buffalo.
It’s worth noting that Samuel’s lower-than-expected evaluation comes with a caveat. With the 49ers superstar being maybe the most dynamic offensive weapon in the league, even Spotrac admitted he should demand a $30 million annual salary.
Regardless, it’s clear Spotrac believes McLaurin deserves to be a top-five highest-paid receiver in the NFL, or something close to it. Do the Commanders hold him in that regard? How will McLaurin’s agents respond after seeing the latest evaluations? Does this lessen the chance of a deal getting done? These are all pertinent questions, but we wouldn’t lose sleep over them … at least not yet.
The Commanders don’t have the reputation of a functional franchise, but even they know what they have in McLaurin. That includes Rivera, who’s too bright to not realize what’s happened to the receiver market this offseason. He knows paying McLaurin his dues is in the best interest of the franchise.
With that said, these evaluations likely make drafting a wide receiver a no-brainer for Washington at pick No. 11. With the market soaring, the team might as well get another potential future stud under a rookie contract for the next few years.